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Christ Church, Port Sunlight


Clavecin
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Did anyone go to Colin Walsh's re-opening recital last Saturday?

Unfortunately I had a family engagement so couldn't make it. If you are not aware, this is an original Willis 11, 4 manual job which the present Willis company have just restored, see their web site for some excellent photos http://www.willis-organs.com/port_general.html. It's an instrument I've known about for many years, but never got around to visiting. Anyone know what it sounds like, who plays it, what the music's like there, the pictures look really good.

 

DT

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Yes, it sounded excellent. Church very full and Colin Walsh put on a programme that was not too difficult for the non-afficiandos. The first time I've heard it so can't say what normally goes on there. Two more Saturday evening recitals in the offing, July 12th, David Houlder and the piece de resistance, 27th September, (Sir, why not!) Francis Jackson.

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I visited this organ last year, it is really wonderful. I think it's great that it has been restored without the addition of gadgets and gizmos, the original console furniture remains as Willis left it. The only exception is the swell box which was converted to a balanced pedal relatively early on in the organ's life. The Vox Humana swell box (!) retains the original trigger pedal. Is this the most decadent parish church organ in the UK, (11 reeds, enormous variety of wind pressures up to 25'', 4 manuals, and all this in the church which seats 800 at most?)

 

A fantastic organ.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

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Interestingly Christ Church, Port Sunlight is not the Parish Church - even though it appears to be the main church in the town. The Lever family who built it were English Congregationalists so it is actually a United Reformed Church.

 

It's a super-duper organ for a URC! Lucky them!

 

:lol:

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Two more Saturday evening recitals in the offing, July 12th, David Houlder and the piece de resistance, 27th September, (Sir, why not!) Francis Jackson.

 

Thanks for that, I'll put these 2 dates in my diary.

 

DT

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  • 1 month later...

Whole hearted congratulations to fellow forum member 'Henry Willis' on his firm's restoration of this fine instrument which I heard last night.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed David Holder's programme and the organ sounded magnificent. Sorry I didn't get the chance to speak with you David, but you had quite a crowd around you at the end, and 'she who must be obeyed' wasn't too keen on waiting. I hope that Francis is recovered sufficiently to play on the 27th September.

 

I guess that this instrument is fairly unique, are there any other Willis 11 organs of comparable size (4 man/41 speaking stops) in anything like their original state?

 

This one is a national treasure and deserves much wider recognition.

 

DT

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Guest Roffensis

Yes Port Sunlight is indeed a very interesting survival. I consider Christchurch, Claughton to have the finest Willis on the Wirral however, a very large and complete spec, and a Father Willis at that. Anyone in the area should make an effort to hear this organ too.

 

R

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